In the gardens of inequality, I'm a plant mistaken for a noxious weed.
The top art gallery near
prides itself in having the most art made by a man who illustrated Playboy in the 1980s. Today, they have dozens of naked lady paintings in an 89.5% white male gallery. My best friend and I shyly peered through their windows to observe the blonde-haired individuals purchasing artwork. At that moment, we heard a young man tell his girlfriend this was his favorite gallery, and he loved all the art inside!
His beliefs are understandable. The lack of minority and female artists in these places makes it difficult to notice something is amiss because it's typical. Between 2019-2021 I applied to eighty art galleries and got rejected from all of them. At this point, I was making murals larger than semi-trucks! It taught me that women must invest unfair amounts of effort to be seen as competent.
This experience felt like attempting to infiltrate an insular world,
where I did not speak or think like other artists. Here are
three examples of art accepted into places that rejected me.
These artists are great people and, the commercial gallery owners are at fault. If my dismissals had a title, it would be
"The Making of a Master" because I won't give up.
What keeps me going?
My grandfather's determination inspires me. At 81, he fell out of bed in the middle of the night and slammed his torso against the nightstand! After spending hours on the floor, he picked himself up, went to the bathroom, and then attempted to rest. Finally, after spending six days at home in pain, he drove himself 12.5 miles to the E.R. The doctors asked him, "What made you decide to stay home with twelve broken ribs?" To which he responded, "I ain't giving up my football for nothing!"
Although with a less reckless application, a similar mindset guides me through the ugly parts of each painting and life's obstacles. I invest five layers of paint, hundreds of details as small as pepper flakes, and create the illusion of radiating light before calling something "complete."
Thank you to all those who support my ideas because it has led to more extraordinary things!